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Student and Faculty Activities

CTAHR strives to maximize students' personal growth and development by providing a variety of opportunities to network, build and strengthen relationships, and get involved in fun, enriching co-curricular activities.

Below are selected examples of recent student activities sponsored by CTAHR.


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Spring Event

CTAHR held its second annual outdoor carnival-themed Spring Event on Friday, February 7, 2014. Though the field was wet, this did not dampen the spirits of the 200 students, faculty, and staff who came out for the food, fun, and games. This year’s games included a sack race, frisbee toss, trivia, and can knocker. Hits from last year like the balloon artists, slushies, and dunk booth were featured again at this year’s festivities. Donations from this year’s event supported Friends of the Urban Garden Center, comprised of volunteers who provide outreach programs and demonstrations related to horticulture. Over $250 was collected to support their endeavors.

Big thanks to Dr. Ted Radovich (TPSS), Dr. Samir Khanal (MBBE), Dr. Helen Spafford (PEPS), Dr. Tomoaki Miura (NREM), Dr. Lori Yancura (FCS), and Dr. J-P Bingham (MBBE) for volunteering to get dunked. Mahalo to Charlie Nelson for assisting with food arrangements and the carnival layout. Also, great thanks to the Friends of the Urban Garden Center and Dr. Janice Uchida for donating potted plants for prizes and SAPFB for partially funding this event. Mahalo to the Spring Event student committee, scholarship recipient and student ambassador volunteers, and ASAO for their time and dedication in making this a smooth and successful event. Lastly, thank you to everyone who attended and donated to this year’s cause and making this year’s carnival another memorable CTAHR event!


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Ag Awareness Day

About 600 fifth-grade students and teachers from Kalihi Elementary, Kalihi Kai Elementary, Kalihi Uka Elementary, Kalihi Waena Elementary, Kauluwela Elementary, Lunalilo Elementary, Puuhale Elementary, and Pauoa Elementary attended the 2014 Agriculture and Environmental Awareness Day on Friday, March 7, 2014 out at the Pearl City Urban Garden Center. The purpose of this outdoor event is to create a greater awareness and understanding of agriculture and the environment among today’s youth, teachers, and general public, as well as to introduce young students to potential Hawaii-based career opportunities in these fields. University faculty, staff and students, government agencies, private industry, and community members who volunteer their time to educate the students made up the 16 presentations and 12 exhibits that students participated in on this day. Several exhibits returned the next day for the Second Saturday at the Garden event open to the general public. CTAHR’s Oahu Cooperative Extension Office and Academic and Student Affairs partnered again to organize this annual event. Funding support was provided by USDA through CTAHR’s Agribusiness Education, Training, and Incubation Program. The City and County of Honolulu also provided generous funding for this event and graced the entire crowd of 600 with a warming welcome in the middle of the morning. Thank you to the Pearl City Urban Garden Center staff and volunteers, ASAO staff, and Waimanalo Research Station staff, for planning and setting up the event. Also, a big mahalo to the CTAHR faculty and staff, government agencies, community members, and company representatives who volunteered their time and knowledge for the presentations and exhibits at the Friday and Saturday events. Lastly, thank you to Dr. Po-Yung Lai of the City and County of Honolulu for helping us acquire funding for this year’s event.


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Careers after CTAHR Workshop

About 50 students and 9 employers gathered in Gilmore Hall on Thursday, March 13, 2014 for the Careers after CTAHR Workshop, which focused on careers related to the fields of study of Family Resources (FAMR), Animal Sciences (ANSC), and Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN). Local professionals, many of whom are CTAHR alums, came from a diversity of companies and organizations, including the Susannah Wesley Community Center, University Lab School, UH Manoa Office of Admissions, WIC Services, HPC Foods, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, UH Manoa Office of Research and Compliance, Hawaii Medical Veterinary Association, and WCC Veterinary Technology Program. Students learned about potential internship/career opportunities, personal career pathways and experiences of those working in jobs related to their fields of study, and tips on how to prepare themselves for the workforce. Both students and employers benefited from the experience.

Thank you to all of the professionals who volunteered their time to share their valuable knowledge and experiences with our students, ASAO for organizing this event, CTAHR student volunteers, and to the students who attended this event.


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Student Research Symposium

Students at the University of Hawai‘i have few opportunities to present their scholarly work in professional conferences due to the geographic isolation of Hawai‘i and the high cost of travel to attend conferences outside the state. One of the main goals of the annual Student Research Symposium is to give students the experience of presenting their work in a friendly, yet academic setting similar to national and international conferences. Through travel grant awards, the symposium enables graduate students to compete for travel grants to share their research findings at professional conferences outside the state.

Continuing a now four-year tradition, CTAHR teamed with the College of Engineering (COE) to host this year’s 26th annual Student Research Symposium. Over 300 students, faculty, staff, and guests gathered at the Agricultural Science building on the UH Mānoa campus on April 11 and 12, 2014 for a lively, scholarly exchange over the 129 poster and oral presentations by undergraduate and graduate students in all six CTAHR departments and three departments in COE. The topics spanned all stages of the process of research and development as well as all types of student learning, including discovery; advanced diagnostics and laboratory testing; design, validation and field testing; and adoption of new methods and technologies. The caliber of the students’ work was truly impressive. After the posters were judged and the general public had the chance to view the posters and meet with presenters about their research, attendees, including UH President David Lassner and UHM Chancellor Tom Apple, enjoyed dinner outdoors. The Symposium continued on Saturday morning, with a continental breakfast, oral sessions, and ending with lunch. Thank you to those whose hard work made this event successful, including the student participants and faculty advisor/mentors, judges and moderators, staff and student volunteers, members of the Symposium Coordinating Committee, and to SAPFB for funding part of this event.

Mahalo again to all participants in the 2014 CTAHR-COE Student Research Symposium, and congratulations to the award recipients.


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Awards Banquet

Academic excellence, a diverse economy, a healthy environment, and strong families and communities: these goals are central to CTAHR's mission. This shared mission is embraced at our annual Awards Banquet, where the excellence and accomplishments of our students, faculty, and staff are recognized; an outstanding alumnus who has made important contributions to a field or discipline represented by CTAHR is honored; and tribute is paid to an exceptional individual from the community whose commitment to the college has greatly furthered CTAHR’s goals.

Attendees at the 23rd Awards Banquet on May 6, 2011 were entertained by the high-energy Derek Kurisu, CTAHR alumnus and local TV star, and the personable Jayna Tasaka (FCS) as they feasted on Farm-to-Table fare and applauded members of the CTAHR ‘ohana and friends. In all, almost 400 people attended, including President Greenwood. She remarked on the important role CTAHR plays in Hawai‘i’s communities—and they know how to throw a great party, too!

Honorees who were recognized that evening:

The 2011 Outstanding Alumna is Dr. PingSun Leung (PhD, Agricultural & Resource Economics), a professor in Natural Resources & Environmental Management. Dr. Leung is also an internationally renowned aquaculture and fisheries economist, advancing the field through research, founding the journal Aquaculture Economics and Management, and serving as a consultant to various local and international organizations and agencies. This year’s Ka Lei Hano Heritage Award recipient is Mr. Harold Tanouye, president and owner of Green Point Nurseries. He is a leader and innovator in the local agricultural industry, and through strong collaboration with CTAHR, has helped keep Hawai‘i’s anthurium industry competitive and thriving in the global marketplace.

Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Jon-Paul Bingham (MBBE)
Excellence in Research – Dr. Arnold Hara (PEPS, Hawai‘i County)
Excellence in Extension – Dr. Barbara DeBaryshe & the Early Reading First Team (Center on the Family)
Ka Pouhana (Mentor) Award – Dr. Wayne Iwaoka (HNFAS)
Alvin T. & Charlotte C. Nakamura Hoku Award – Dr. Linda Cox (NREM)
Outstanding Civil Service – Ms. Marla Fergerstrom (Mealani Research Station, Hawai‘i County)
Ka Hana Po‘okela Service Awards: graduate student – Noe Abejon (NREM)
Ka Hana Po‘okela Service Awards: undergraduate student – Gabriel Sachter-Smith (TPSS)

Thank you to the many people who helped to make the event a success including the Awards Banquet Planning Committee, Elsie Kawahara for serving as IT technician, the CTAHR student ambassadors, CTAHR’s Office of Communication Services and Office of Academic & Student Affairs, and to the many donors who provided the floral arrangements and gift bags.


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Spring Convocation

CTAHR Spring 2014 graduates

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, over 200 CTAHR students, their families and friends, and CTAHR faculty and staff attended the CTAHR Convocation in the Campus Center Ballroom. This intimate celebration, emceed by Lisa Kitagawa-Akagi, began with congratulatory remarks from Dean Maria Gallo and CTAHR Alumni Association and Friends President Dr. Susan Miller. Our Spring 2014 student marshals Maili Huck (FSHN) and Ryan Pe'a (NREM), selected for their academic achievements, leadership and service to CTAHR and the University, were then called on stage to be recognized. Afterwards, graduating students active in CTAHR-affiliated student organizations were acknowledged for their participation in these organizations. CTAHR also recognized five students who completed the Dietetic Internship Program. The ceremony concluded with the individual recognition of 61 of our graduates. Following the program were refreshments and a chance for family, friends, and mentors to mingle with the graduating students. Congratulations to our graduating students for achieving such a milestone! Good luck in your future endeavors!

A big mahalo to all those who supported our graduating students. Thank you to SAPFB for partially funding this event, the CTAHR Alumni Association and Friends for their support, Steven and Karen Sato for donating lei, CTAHR scholarship recipients and student ambassadors for volunteering at the event, and ASAO for providing the CTAHR memorabilia presented to the graduates and organizing this event.


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New Student Orientation

CTAHR’s New Student Orientation provides a great introduction for incoming freshman and transfer students to our college. About 40 new students attended this year’s program.

The newest members of our college received words of welcome as well as an overview of our four main values of instructional philosophy (Scholarship, Ethical Behavior, Diversity, and Service) from Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Charly Kinoshita. Lisa Kitagawa-Akagi then briefly talked about academic requirements. The last part of the formal portion of the program were short presentations by various student club and organization representatives to encourage our students to get involved.

Students were then divided into smaller groups, each led by our student committee members. Arby Barone, Nicole Castellano, Melissa Dumas, Kiana Ebeling, Angela Stein, Tiffany Ulep, and Kelli Zakimi led more intimate sessions that included an Aloha Bingo icebreaker, their personal development of various skills and competencies that will help them in life after college, and a question-and-answer segment for the new students to ask what’s on their mind. Afterwards, groups went out on a campus tour. Students then came back for their advising session by majors, where they received guidance on classes to take and what to expect in college from their academic advisors. The orientation ended with a delicious lunch in the company of peers, faculty, and staff. The new students left with a better understanding of what it means to be a part of CTAHR.

This orientation would not have been possible with the assistance of many individuals. A big thank you to the student committee members, faculty advisors, and student club and organization representatives!


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Welcome Back Ice Cream Bash

CTAHR’s 25th Annual Welcome Back Ice Cream Bash commenced on Monday, September 16 in the Sherman Courtyard. Representatives from all of CTAHR’s departments and administration vied for the top honors in the costume contest as well as ice cream sculpting competition. After the friendly competitions, CTAHR students, faculty, and staff enjoyed free ice cream and popsicles graciously provided once again by Meadow Gold Dairies of Hawaii.

Competing in this year’s contests were Ashley Perreira (Family & Consumer Sciences), Dr. Jinan Banna (Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences), Vincent Cleveland (Molecular Biosciences & Bioengineering), Erin Hickey (Natural Resources & Environmental Management), Jordie Ocenar (Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences), Orville Baldos (Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences) and Michelle Isaacs (Administration). Congratulations to NREM’s Erin Hickey for winning the costume contest and MBBE’s Vincent Cleveland for the most creative concept in the Western-themed ice cream sculpting and decorating contest.

Over $150 in monetary donations were collected at this year’s event to benefit the Sustainable & Organic Farm Training (SOFT) Club, a CTAHR student organization committed to sustainable agricultural practices. Some of SOFT’s achievements include teaming with Noelani Elementary first-grade teachers to educate students on organic farming, coordinating campus food waste pick-ups and edible landscapes.

Thank you to all who attended the bash, our contestants, and especially to those who donated to the SOFT Club. Big mahalos go out to Meadow Gold Dairies of Hawaii for its continuous support of CTAHR; Ryan Kurasaki and Charlie Nelson; Joannie Dobbs and the HNFAS and NREM departments for the usage of their facilities; Ray Uchida of the Oahu Extension Office and Lito Cacho and Richard Fisher of Pearl City Urban Garden Center for tent coverage; and our ice cream scoopers. Lastly, thank you to our co-emcees Angela Stein and Jay Gibson and the rest of the planning committee, scholarship recipients, ASAO, and everyone whose efforts made the 25th Annual Welcome Back Ice Cream Bash a success!


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A Meaningful Experience

In the early morning of October 4, 2013, twenty-one CTAHR students and staff stepped on a plane to head over to Kauai for the Tenth Annual Meaningful Experience. Their first destination was the Ho’opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill on Kauai’s North Shore, the last remaining rice mill in the state of Hawaii, dating back to the 1800s and listed on the National Historic Register. CTAHR alumna Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama led the educational and interactive tour of the taro farm and rice mill. Activities included a sampling of taro smoothies, learning the background of farming in Kauai, picking invasive apple snails from the lo’i patches, viewing historic rice mill equipment, and making pa’i’ai, pounded taro in its purest form.

After a healthy and delicious lunch, the group then headed back to Lihue for teambuilding activities facilitated by ASAO’s Lisa Kitagawa-Akagi to bond with one another and build their interpersonal and communication skills. One of the student participants, Arby Barone, then gave the group a short presentation on the background of Niihau, including a brief history, and plant and animal identification in preparation for the next day’s activities.

The following morning, students headed out to Hanapepe on the south side of the island for the Niihau Helicopter Tour. They had the rare opportunity to fly over the island of Niihau as well as set foot on the Forbidden Isle. Students also had the chance to explore the nearby areas, including Waimea Canyon and various eateries. Finally, after a full day of cultural learning, the group headed back to the airport for the flight back to Honolulu.

Thank you to Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama and the Board of Directors of Ho’opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill for hosting our visit to their farm. We also want to extend our gratitude to Roy Yamakawa, Kauai County Administration for reserving space for our teambuilding activities. In addition, mahalo to SAPFB and ASAO for supporting our students to go to Kauai. Lastly, thank you to the students who participated and made this experience meaningful for all the participants.


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Career Conference

The Academic and Student Affairs Office hosted its annual CTAHR Career Conference in Gilmore Hall on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. Students had the opportunity to hear from speakers in the seed industry, agriculture in the public sector, natural resource management, and technology and learned about potential jobs and how to prepare for careers in these fields. Employers in attendance included Hawaii Wildfire Management, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services as well as the Plant Protection and Quarantine Canine Cadre, Syngenta, Monsanto, Pioneer, Peace Corps, Kupu Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Malama Learning Center, Tissue Genesis, Environmental Science International, and Global Information Systems. In addition to short 20-minute sessions on these companies and organizations and related careers, students and employers had a chance to chat and mingle during the networking intermission.

Thank you to all who attended the career conference, scholarship recipients for volunteering, and ASAO, especially Felicia Geronimo, for organizing this event. Also, mahalo to DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto for providing refreshments. Lastly, a big thank you to the workshop presenters who came out that evening to share with our students what they do as well as pointers for working in agriculture and natural resource management careers.


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Blood Drive

Every day, 200 blood donors are needed to meet the needs of Hawaii’s patients. Although statistics show that 60% of us will need blood sometime in our lives, only 2% of our state’s population donates. To continue its support for this important cause of saving lives, CTAHR hosted its tenth blood drive on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

This year, we collected 78 pints of blood. Since each pint of blood can be separated into three components, as many as 234 lives can be saved solely from donations collected at our drive. The precious gift of life not only helps those who need the blood, but touches the lives of the families of the recipients as well.

The Blood Bank and CTAHR truly appreciates the time and generosity of everyone who contributed to this successful event and giving the precious gift of life. Much mahalo to those who came out to donate blood. Thank you to the CTAHR Alumni Association for the support and generous donation to supply Kamehameha Bakery poi malasadas for our blood drive. Also, thanks to the scholarship recipients who helped throughout the day and provided a positive and comfortable environment for those who came to donate.


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Fall Convocation

On Friday, December 7, 2012, over 150 CTAHR students, their families and friends, and CTAHR faculty and staff attended the CTAHR Convocation in the Campus Center Ballroom. This is the first time in ten years that the College has held a convocation ceremony for its graduating students. This intimate celebration, emceed by Mrs. Lisa Kitagawa-Akagi, began with congratulatory remarks from Dean Maria Gallo and CTAHR Alumni Association and Friends President Dr. Susan Miller. Our Fall 2012 student marshals Allyson Fujii (FAMR) and Jordan Oshiro (FSHN), selected for their academic achievements and high involvement in CTAHR, were then called to stage to be recognized. Afterwards, graduating students active in CTAHR-affiliated student organizations were acknowledged for their participation in these groups. The formal program then concluded with the individual recognition of 40 of our graduates. Following the program were refreshments and a chance for family, friends, and mentors to mingle with the graduating students. Congratulations to our graduating students for achieving such a milestone! Good luck in your future endeavors!

A big mahalo to all those who supported our graduating students. Thank you to the CTAHR Alumni Association and Friends for donating lei, CTAHR scholarship recipients and student ambassadors for volunteering at the event, Yama’s Fishmarket for catering the food, and ASAO for providing the CTAHR memorabilia presented to the graduates and organizing this event.